This book was alright. I had to read this for school once and actually quite enjoyed it. This is a great book for anyone who likes quick mystery reads. The plot is one that makes the reader want to continue reading! The book is about a mysterious doctor named Dr. Jekyll. Jekyll is a well respected man but awfully strange. If this sounds interesting I suggest reading it! Yes, it wasn’t my favorite, but I enjoyed the mysterious plot.
The Shadows by Alex North is about a brutal crime that rocks a small town, and haunts the ones closest to it. Paul grew up alongside three boys, two of which would later murder one of their fellow students. Twenty-five years later, Paul returns to the town to visit his dying mother and is forced to uncover deeply-hidden secrets about the murder when new crimes start to happen. I liked how each chapter revealed new clues and the final result was difficult to guess. There were several plot twists that felt well-calculated. For as exciting as the plot was, Paul was a very bland main character. The way he described his childhood with the future murderers was boring, and I didn't like the lucid dreaming theme. It seemed like the author was going for a strange cult theme, but it was muddled with the constant flashbacks to present-day. It was a good read for the Halloween season, but not my favorite otherwise.
The book is about a book loving kid named Ollie who after coming home from school sees a woman trying to throw a book into water. Ollie of course takes the book away from her and got a warning. The book Ollie got slowly connects to the farm she's visiting for a field trip. After the trip the bus breaks down and they find themselves listening to the bus driver and leaving into the fog. Which led them to a creepy place where scarecrows roam around at the night. Overall I loved to see the book slowly connect as the pieces began making sense. You get to see the characters grow emotionally and begin to understand each other. The eerie feeling of the book fits and the ending makes it feel like it's gone back to this small town and nothing ever happened.
John Dies at the End is a story on two levels. On hand hand, it's a poignant exploration of the darkness of humanity, the fear of the unknown, the tragedies of life, and the devastating realities we exist besides everyday. But also, it's about two idiots on a space drug and their strangely resilient dog.
This book should be the blueprint for every dark comedy. It isn't a needlessly tragic story with a few laughs thrown in or a joke fest that undercuts every poignant moment. It blends comedy and tragedy seamlessly, balances it perfectly, and hits it for a home run with meticulous writing and characters. This is mostly done by finding the hilarity in tragedy, specifically the tragedy of life. This book is strangely and wonderfully existential for being mostly about shadows and movie monsters, a very classic demons of a character mirrored by demons of the world. The characters in general are stellar, with so many flaws and so much cynicism but with some shining nuggets of morality and love that makes them very easy to root for.
The entire thing is a joke that takes itself seriously in the best way possible. There are horrible moments of death and gore and dehumanization, and I would definitely look up some content warnings, but it's still such a fun ride. One minute there's gruesome character deaths and existential dread and body horror and such, the next minute one of the characters need to just kill the alien larvae quickly to get to work on time. Or their dog explodes and shows up like two days later and they don't care enough to investigate that. It's a rollercoaster of mood swings, but in a good way.
All in all, I don't know how to describe this book without using far too many words. Basically, despite some anticlimactic moments and weaker plot structure, this is a perfect dark comedy. I'd recommend this to any fans of horror, humor, existential dread, nihilistic humor, and well-written alien drugs!
Reviewer Grade: 12
Despite the high page count, I've been looking to reread It by Stephen King for some time. It was a great book; it just took some time to get through. Seven friends all team up to fight an other-worldly murderous clown after several people turn up dead in the small town of Derry. This clown feasts on your worst thoughts and fears, and destroys your mind as well as your body. The switch between the seven friends as kids versus adults was entertaining, because they handled emergency situations differently as well as having different motives because of how the clown affected their childhoods. The chapters could get tedious at times and have a lot of fluff (in a horror book? YES!). I would even call the last hundred or so pages strange as the final battle became sort of biblical and unlike the direction of the rest of the book. Still, if you're a fast reader and would like to get a horror book under your belt, try it out!
I enjoyed this book a lot. I picked up this book because I enjoy reading the genre horror, and it did not disappoint! The main character, Josie, goes through a cycle of emotions in each stage of the book. I feel like this adds so much more to the book, and makes the reader feel more connected to her. For instance, when going to a new school, Josie meets Vanessa and eventually she feels like she finally belongs and has somebody to relate to.
The horror element of the book along with all of Josie’s grandma’s crazy rules lead the reader down a path of mystery, the rules including…
1. Never leave your windows open after dark
2. No dolls in the house
3. Never, ever go by the house in the woods
Josie’s dear friend, Vanessa leads her in the woods to the house, the house that is calling for her.
I can relate with Josie on different levels. One of these levels being in a new school and feeling like you don’t belong. I relate to her on that level of feeling awkward around new people.
I enjoyed this book a lot and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for horror and mystery put into one book.
Reviewer Grade: 8
The Stand by Stephen King is uniquely a classic tale of good and evil facing off. This novel follows sundry people in a world after the deadly flu, which kills most of the population. While the remaining population is drawn to two people, one represents evil and the other good. The question that readers will be left with is: who will win? This question remains as various characters are introduced who are relatable and could pass for real people. The characters face many challenges, romance, action, adventure, and so much more. The ending to this stunning book could not be predicted and will keep any reader guessing. As with any Stephen King book, the writing style is distinct and will not be boring throughout the novel. It is a peephole to 1978 with vocabulary and culture. The Stand will not disappoint anyone willing to take on the challenge of a long, complex book. Overall I would give it a five out of five stars.
This book was super great! I love scary books and especially movies. I wish that R.L. Stein would make every book into a movie. It was so easy to read and I read it in a few hours. It is all about a family that moves into this house that was literally next to this swamp called fever swamp in Florida. The main character Grady can't sleep because he hears howling all night long. Grady does a lot.of exploring and finds a lot of crazy things. He finds a mutilated rabbit, a dead deer. He meets someone from the area named Will. Grady keeps exploring when he finds and hears things that aren't right, and the ending....it totally shocked me. It was so good.
-an almost 9th grader
In this story (which holds heavy resemblance to the "Gone" series by Michael Grant), a small town is trapped within a invisible and impenetrable barrier (or dome if you prefer), leaving the inhabitants to fend for themselves against the lack of resources and each other as a power struggle appears in the midst of the crisis.
Similar to another 1000+ page book of King's, Under the Dome has a multitude of interesting and developed characters, a driving force for the majority of the plot, and a heavy lead up that concludes well enough, but a little underwhelming. Watching all the people within the town slowly morph to party, if you will, was great. The mystery of the dome is, of course, speculated throughout the story and gives a small sense of mystery while the conflict continues on. After the climax, however, things slow down to a pretty lackluster conclusion. I feel there could have been something more climatic in the final 50-100 pages of the story. I'm not mad at how it ended, but I felt it could have done a bit more that what it did. Even with that, it was a great book, even with the extensive length.
Reviewer's Grade: 11
House of Leaves is a story within a story within a story. In short, it is a collection of writings, put together by an amateur tattoo artist after retrieving the notes from a dead blind man's apartment, notes about a documentary that may or may not have existed, a documentary that details one family and their house that is far bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. It is a desperate mess, a mile-high pile of unreliable narrators' unreliable writings collapsing in on themselves. It is a horror, not about a haunted house or a monster in the dark, but about the things that haunt us and the monsters inside our minds. It is a book that pushes the idea of what a book can be. It is gibberish, illegible, unreadable. And it is one of the most gripping books I have ever read.
I was glued to this book when I got it. It was one of the first real horror books I have ever read, and yet it betrays every idea of what horror should be. It is long and rambling and pretentious, going off on random tangents and strange digressions at the drop of a hat, but it still made my skin crawl. After I first bought the book, I quickly realized that I could not read it when my parents weren't home. It's something about the abruptness of horror after so long without it, or maybe its the unsettling words before that put you in the headspace where every shadow looks like a death omen. It's likely also something about the way the book chooses to directly address the root of all fears. It isn't about a house invasion, it's about the primal fear that comes when the comforting becomes unsafe. It isn't about surviving in a dangerous or extreme environment, it's about the bone deep terror of being somewhere you don't belong. It isn't about a monster, it's about the monstrous things this world has to offer, and how that monstrosity can creep into our very bones. This can be seen in the way the horror of the book is never named or explained. There is no ritual or legend, no handy expert or trusty guide. Even if a character manages to escape the horror, the horror still exists, because it has always existed.
Despite the beautiful prose, rich imagery, and startling effect this book creates, there are definitely some problems. The main issue is the inherently illogical structure and plot of the novel. This is obviously intentional on the authors part, since the book, and its characters, are meant to be a challenge to understand. The book is filled with rambling, nonsensical footnotes that can take up pages at a time. Words will go in different directions, appendices will stretch on for hours, entire chapters will be devoted to academic nothingness. This strangeness also weaves its way into the plot. While the documentary's story is mostly straightforward (although it, too, dissolves near the end) the ramblings of the amateur tattoo artist bringing the story together are crude, strange, abrupt, and often incomprehensible. There is a lack of catharsis, of any sort of understanding of most of the characters, and this can be very confusing and frustrating.
All in all, this book was a difficult yet rewarding read. I'd definitely recommend it for older readers, and would instruct any attempting to read it to get the physical version, read however feels comfortable, and go to the appendices when directed. I'd also recommend it for any lovers of horror, mystery, or a story in unique format.
Reviewer Grade: 12
One of King's earliest and critically acclaimed books, a superflu ravages the planet, leaving a minuscule remainder of the population to pick between two opposing factions.
This book was a lengthy trip to follow, but it was pretty good. The characters were my favorite part of the story, as most of them were nuanced and developed. Seeing them interact with each other and/or their environment really pulled me in. The story, overall, was also good, but there were spots that didn't bring me the same enjoyment. The ending was anti-climatic and seemed forced, and it didn't flow with the setup before hand. Speaking of flow, the story was very slow. Characters acted and did things, but they also didn't. After the beginning, nothing really happened conflict wise. It all seemed like set up without much driving force aside from the attraction to the two fractions. In context with the story, it makes sense, but it still seemed boring at points where characters either weren't developing or were just there for a purely plot reason. Still recommend a read (especially with how it connects with his other works), but not the best I've read.
Reviewer's Grade: 11
This is not a test focuses on a high school girl who experiences the end of the world. Humans have been infected and zombies have taken over her world. She has had a bad home life with her dad and sister. She believes she should no longer live. Her and a couple of other teenagers take shelter in the high school. The books tells the story of a girl who thinks this is her end but it really is just her beginning. I really loved how suspenseful this book was it made you want to keep reading. I enjoyed reading about a girl who things she has nothing more to offer for the world but then slowly realizes all the bad things that have happened in her life and led her to a single moment. She finally finds where she belongs. I feel like the book could have a better ending. Maybe they could have ended in the government shelter. Overall this book was pretty good. I definitely would recommend it.
As an avid Stephanie Perkins reader, this book is not her best work but still worth your time to read. There was ample suspense as Makani Young navigated the unfolding of an active serial killer's crimes in a small town, with a fast pace to not bore readers. Similar to thrillers like One of Us is Lying, I was constantly changing my mind as to who the killer could be. Do we pay attention to Ollie, the typical loner, or even one of Makani's own friends? Unfortunately, the movie adaptation did not do this story justice. Do not waver from trying it out if you stumbled across the movie first! It's not the darkest thriller I've read, but still disturbing enough to introduce a passion for the genre and keep you up at night.
In the second installment to the Stalking Jack the Ripper series, this time we follow Audrey and Thomas to Romania, mainly to escape the grief and memories that London contains, but also to attend one of the best schools of forensic medicine. However, Audrey and Thomas are once again thrown into another murder mystery, this time facing Vlad the Impaler.
Even though the plot of this novel seemed interesting enough, like the first book of this series, I still couldn't find myself connecting to Audrey or Thomas at all. Both of them just seemed like the stereotypical cookie-cutter fantasy romance interests, with no dimension and no personality. While I enjoyed some of the interesting cultural legends and information about Romania, I felt like the novel was going way too slow. I couldn't find myself getting into it, and none of the characters really interested me and kept me focused on the novel. Once I practically forced myself to finish the book, I didn't find myself thinking about the book ever again. There was nothing interesting or unique about the novel and all the characters just seemed like the same characters that I've read about over and over again in the fantasy genre. The murder was also pretty generic and simple to solve, so there wasn't much suspense or build-up. Overall, I could see why some people would like this book, but it wasn't for me.
Reviewer Grade: 11
The source material for the iconic film of the same name, The Exorcist is a about a young girl and what resides within her.
You follow Chris and her 12 year old daughter, Regan, as Regan's behavior begins to change and morph until she becomes unrecognizable to those around her. As her condition worsens, new characters fall under your eye: Klein, Father Karras, Kinderman, and more, all with their own involvement with Regan, Chris, and the events around them.
I enjoyed the book, though I thought the begin was a bit slow, personally. I enjoyed the book, but it wasn't a four star book for me. I would give it a read, especially if you have seen the movie (I haven't seen it, but I digress). It is a bid crude in a couple of places, so if disturbing descriptions make you uncomfortable or something similar, prepare or shy away from this one.
Horror readers and newcomers, enjoy!
If you love a nice touch of supernatural horror in your life, you have to check out IT by Stephen King. Follow the story of young Bill Denbrough as he tries to discover what happened to his younger brother, Georgie, after his disappearance with his friends: Richie Tozier, Stanley Uris, Eddie Kaspbrak, Beverly Marsh, Mike Hanlon, and Ben Hanscom, while discovering a much darker secret under Derry, Maine. This book has everything you could possibly ask for in a horror novel with a strong bond of characters, a very unique villain, and enough variety that leaves you loving both the teenage and adult perspectives of the story. I love the concept of seeing both a child and adult perspective of the novel, it is a very unique concept, worth the 1000 pages. However, it only gets 4 stars in my book due to the constantly changing perspectives that seem to jump back and forth along with many questionable moments throughout the book. However, if you are looking for a book that will keep you reading for a while and love horror, It is the book for you.
Reviewer Grade: 12
"Scary Stories for Young Foxes" is an enchanting fantasy read involving several talking foxes. When two of them are separated from their families and meet each other under odd circumstances, they quickly bond and become good friends. They've both already had their share of scary experiences, so they find comfort in having a friend. That is, until they encounter more spooky sites, such as a monster who lurks in the pond nearby, and a lady who wants to trap them for good. What I enjoyed most about this story was the unpredictable plot twists. It had a fast pace, and never left me bored. The author has a way of smoothly transitioning from event to event without any hiccups or plot holes. I also enjoyed watching the two young foxes bond, fight, and bond again. And watch out for the plot twist at the end! The only reason I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars was because I was hoping for a slightly scarier story. At times, the monsters got a little too silly, which made it difficult to put myself in the shoes of the characters. Don't be fooled; this is certainly not a horror novel, and best for ages 11-14.
Reviewer's Grade: 8
There's Someone Inside Your House follows Makani Young as she tries to escape her past and create a new life in small-town Nebraska with her grandma and two best friends. She also is developing a crush on town outcast, Ollie. Suddenly, members of her small high school are found viciously murdered, one after another, and her and her friends will have to scramble to find the killer before they become their next victim.
I originally read this book because of the movie coming out under the same name, based on the book. In the trailer, the story seems to follow a serial killer who kills his high school victims while wearing a mask of the victims face, while seemingly holding them accountable for their past digressions. Obviously, this sounds amazing to read, so I read this book. The result was somewhat disappointing. For one, the actual murder mystery at the center of the story is no where near as interesting as the one the film outlines. In fact, despite the pretty good terror the book can get across, its pretty typical. When the murderer is revealed, both them and their motive are pretty disappointing. Other mysteries also turn out to be pretty disappointing, like some of the characters pasts or motives. Furthermore, the murder mystery isn't really the center of the story. More time seems to be devoted to what is meant to be a romantic subplot, but quickly becomes the main plot, leaving the vicious massacres on the side. Now, on the good side, the romantic subplot is pretty good, even if it takes up way too much time. As I said, the murder scenes have a lot of good tension and gore, all told from the victims perspective. The trauma the characters go through is pretty well explored, and the characters themselves are pretty well rounded, well characterized, and pretty funny. And even if the story was basic murder mystery, it was still a fun murder mystery.
All in all, while I found this book pretty disappointing, I do think its a fun ride. This would be a great read for fans of mystery, thrillers, pretty cool gore, and emotional love stories!
All These Bodies follows the country wide mystery of the Bloodless Murders, murders that leave every victim sucked dry without signs of struggle or bloodstains. Michael Jensen, the son of the sheriff who has followed the mystery as a hopeful journalist, one day witnesses the aftermath of the final murder in his hometown: the Carleson's family is found dead, with every ounce of their blood found drenched on one Marie Catherine Hale. As the nations whips itself into a frenzy over a fifteen-year-old murderess, Michael scrambles to, with Marie's help, solve the mystery of the Bloodless Murders, no matter how fantastical the answer may be.
I really wanted to like this book. See, I bought it impulsively about a month ago, hoping for a classic "How evil is the child that has done evil things?" that has been done so well in the past (None Shall Sleep, House on the Cerulean Sea, Good Omens, etc.). I was looking for some fun prose, debates on nature versus nurture, and a good thriller mystery. This book, sadly, did not live up to my expectations. For one, the writing is surprisingly prosaic for Kendare Blake, who's written other books I love. One could see this as an attempt to show that a teenager is telling the story, as the jist is that Michael is writing this story, so it makes sense that the writing is very to the point. However, even if this was intentional, it doesn't change the fact that the writing isn't very fun to read. There are some well written scenes that get across the small town vibe and deep horror of the book, but most of it was very simple. For another thing, I don't really like the way Marie was characterized. She's introduced as this worldly, weary teenager that has seen and committed many horrors. But despite this powerful image, for most of this book Marie seems very powerless and apathetic. This could be seen as accurate regarding her trauma, but it makes her much less of her own character and more a thing for Michael to protect and the world to judge. Finally, while some scenes were very scary, many of them simply described a maybe scary thing and didn't drive home the terror of the moment. Again, this could be accurate since many of these moments weren't necessarily scary out of context, but again, less interesting. The general theme of this book seems to prioritize the realistic over the dramatic, which is to be commended, but does decrease certain people's, including my, general enjoyment. Still, this book had a good ending, solid characterization, some good discussions on the public court, and accurately depicting the suffocating small town aesthetic.
All in all, this book could still be enjoyed in someone likes realistic writing, the 1900s aesthetic, discussions on justice, and nebulous mysteries, and I recommend anyone to read Kendare Blake's other works!
Krystal Sutherland creates a uniquely haunting atmosphere in House of Hollow, a story about three sisters who experienced a mysterious incident in their childhood which left their eyes pitch black and their hair bright white. Iris, the youngest sister, tries her best to blend in and lead an ordinary life, which proves very difficult; Vivi is a rebel who embraces her appearance; Grey, the oldest, is stunningly beautiful and remarkably successful, a secretive celebrity phenomenon. When Grey disappears without warning, Iris and Vivi embark on a bizarre, dangerous journey which will change the way they see themselves--and their sister--forever.
House of Hollow is filled with twists, turns, and tumbles into dark places. It will leave readers on the edges of their seats, dreading what comes next yet filled with a desire to know the full story. Sutherland's beautifully frightening, masterful plot is perfect for anyone who is craving something new and different and enjoys horror, suspense, and fantasy. House of Hollow serves as a reminder to us all: nothing is as it seems.